According to NHTSA data, automobile accidents remain a leading cause of death for children 14 and under throughout the U.S. In fact, 2018 saw 3,133 children ages 0 to 14 killed as a result of an auto accident.
No parent wishes to think about their child being seriously injured in a car accident, but the sad truth is that it only takes a second for tragedy to strike.
Boulton Law Group has counseled family members and investigated a number of car and truck accident cases involving young people. Without question, they are some of the most emotional cases handled by our office.
With this in mind, we take a closer look at Indiana accident statistics that report on collisions involving children as well as what the parents’ next steps should be.
How Many Children are Injured in Indiana Car Accidents?
The data collected on Indiana automobile accidents involving children ages 0 – 14 was compiled in a partnership between the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) and Indiana University Public Policy Institute (IUPPI), using data from Indiana’s official crash reporting system named ARIES.
Children involved in Indiana automobile accidents were categorized as one of the following 4 person-types:
- Vehicle occupants (passengers)
Additionally, we looked at the accident data involving three “injury-status categories” between the years of 2014-2018.
Those injury-status categories include fatal injuries, incapacitating injuries, and non-incapacitating injuries:
1. Fatal injuries – Since 2014, the number of child fatalities has not revealed any discernible pattern, making it one of the more concerning categories with regard to the accidents’ outcome and future prevention.
- 2014 – 20
- 2015 – 35
- 2016 – 14
- 2017 – 40
- 2018 – 21
2. Incapacitating injuries – These incidents often account for the most serious types of injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, etc. In short, incapacitating injuries are often traumatic in nature and may temporarily or permanently affect the day-to-day lives of the child.
- 2014 – 305
- 2015 – 1,204
- 2016 – 1,350
- 2017 – 1,236
- 2018 – 1,290
At first glance, we were especially puzzled by the large increase in incapacitating injuries that seemed to occur since 2014’s low of 305. (It appeared as if the number of incapacitating injuries had more than tripled in one year’s time!)
However, we dug further and learned that the accident reporting system (ARIES) used by investigating officers had changed the definition of incapacitating injuries in 2015 to include “transported from the scene for treatment.” This small change accounts for the large increase from 2014 to 2015 and beyond.
3. Non-incapacitating injuries – Children that suffer non-incapacitating injuries typically sustain a soft-tissue injury (or minor abrasions) and have the great fortune of not experiencing long-term effects from an automobile collision.
Excluding 2014’s data, which was inflated due to the previously mentioned definition factor, the number of Indiana automobile incidents causing non-incapacitating injuries in children has seen a marginal year-to-year decline.
- 2014 – 3,029
- 2015 – 2,245
- 2016 – 2,153
- 2017 – 2,132
- 2018 – 1,822
As the above numbers indicate, the annual statistics involving Indiana auto accidents and children have been somewhat erratic. The yearly increases and decreases in various categories indicate that there is much work to be done to further ensure the safety of Indiana’s children.
And while some are surprised by the large number of Indiana accidents involving children, our office receives these calls far too often. In most instances, parents of an injured child simply want to know what they should do next.
Next Steps if Your Child was Injured in a Car Accident
Many of the most serious incidents involving children will result in immediate medical care, ambulance transport, and/or the potential for hospitalization. It is important that children involved in any type of automobile accident, large or small, be checked out by a medical professional, as injuries do not always present immediately.
Additionally, children may sometimes have a more difficult time describing their pain or symptoms following an accident. We always advise parents to keep a watchful eye on their child and look for any potential signs of “invisible injuries,” such as head trauma.
Once a child’s injuries have been attended to, we strongly advise parents to speak with an experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney who has handled similar auto accident cases involving children.
Even if it is believed that you may share partial fault for the accident, a qualified injury attorney can help to make you aware of all the resources available to you and your child.
We also recommend that you speak with an attorney before talking to the insurance company. The fact that you may still be experiencing strong emotions can leave you especially susceptible to insurance company tactics designed to reduce compensation for any of your child’s medical bills and pain and suffering.
Last, we encourage you to speak with an attorney that focuses exclusively on personal injury matters and offers free consultations. No parent should have to be worried about an attorney’s ability to handle the case or be bothered with any upfront costs.
Contact Personal Injury Attorney Matt Boulton
If your child was seriously injured in an Indiana car accident, we are here to listen, answer your questions, and provide you with free, easy-to-understand legal advice.
Attorney Matt Boulton has more than 20 years’ experience helping the parents of children who have been involved in a car or truck accident. Having two children of his own, Matt is especially protective of the parents and children in these cases.
Bolton Law Group offers every parent of an injured child a Zero Fee Guarantee. Our promise provides you a risk-free legal experience and reinforces our motto of ensuring clients Get Treated Like Family.
To speak with attorney Boulton about your story call 317-350-2680.
If you would rather write to us, please use our confidential contact form. Attorney Boulton personally reviews all website contacts.
We look forward to hearing your story and learning how we can help you.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.